Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is planning a mass overhaul of his playing squad at the end of the season, with more than 10 players in danger of being axed.
The Portuguese coach is keen to ensure his squad are capable of challenging for the Premier League title from day one of the 2014/15 campaign, while he is also aware that the club must bring down the wage bill in order to fall in line with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.
Fernando Torres, Ashley Cole and David Luiz are the highest-profile names on the list of potential summer departures, although a host of squad players could also be moved on before the start of next season, according to the London Evening Standard.
Strikers Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o are likely to leave Stamford Bridge, while veteran back-up goalkeepers Mark Schwarzer and Hilario are expected to exit because of the return of Thibaut Courtois, who will have the chance to compete with Petr Cech for the No. 1 jersey next term having spent three successful seasons with Atletico Madrid.
Midfielder John Obi Mikel, meanwhile, is set to be granted his wish to leave the club this summer after falling out of favour following the return of Mourinho.
A total of 28 players are currently being loaned out by Chelsea, and some of them could also be given the chop by Mourinho, whose frustration after his side slumped to a shock 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace last Saturday was evident.
Romelu Lukaku, Marko Marin, Victor Moses, Ryan Bertrand, Gael Kakuta and Josh McEachran could all join new clubs in the summer, as Mourinho looks to bring in several top-class additions.
Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa is top of Mourinho’s wish-list, while the Blues’ boss also remains keen to sign Luke Shaw to compete with the club’s current first-choice left-back Cesar Azpilicueta.